This Week’s Games
Thu., Oct. 29 - Houston Aeros at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Fri., Oct. 30 - Houston Aeros at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Last Week’s Results
Fri., Oct. 23 - Abbotsford Heat 3 at GRIFFINS 5 - 2-4-0-0, 4 pts. (7th, North Division)
Sat., Oct. 24 - Toronto Marlies 3 at GRIFFINS 4 SO - 3-4-0-0, 6 pts. (7th)
Sun., Oct. 25 - Abbotsford Heat 1 at GRIFFINS 6 - 4-4-0-0, 8 pts. (T5th)
There’s No Place Like Home: Sunday’s 6-1 win over Abbotsford gave the Griffins a perfect 3-0 record for their home-opening weekend and marked the first time in their history that they won three home games in as many nights. Captain Jamie Tardif notched his second AHL hat trick (3/3/07 at SYR) and Daniel Larsson made a career-high 41 saves to help the Griffins climb back to the 0.500 mark (4-4-0-0) and into a tie for fifth place in the North Division. The Griffins, who will play just one road contest (Nov. 8 at Lake Erie) over an 11-game span that started Oct. 23 and concludes Nov. 20, will continue their season-high six-game homestand with a Thursday-Friday set against the Houston Aeros.
Promotional Highlights: Thu. vs. Houston: In celebration of “Twitter Thursday,” check out the Griffins’ Twitter page at twitter.com/griffinshockey for special ticket offers, and follow the Griffins on Twitter during the game for contests and promotions. Fri. vs. Houston: Featured promotions include Dollar Beers and Dollar Dogs from 6-8 p.m. (while supplies last), College Night presented by McFadden’s, and the D-ZONE presented by WGRD 97.9 FM. For complete information on all Griffins promotions, click here.
A Good Time Was Had By All: The Griffins distributed 3,200 tickets for Sunday’s win over Abbotsford to local unemployed workers and their family members through their new “Griffins Give Back” program. Tickets were made available through the two Grand Rapids offices of Michigan Works! last week and at the box office on Sunday, in the first of several program initiatives that will be announced this season.
Power Surge: In 1,058 regular season games throughout their history, the Griffins have scored four or more power play goals on 10 occasions. Two of those happened over the weekend, as Grand Rapids went 4-for-12 against Abbotsford in Friday’s home opener before going 4-for-11 in Sunday’s rematch with the Heat. Prior to Friday, the Griffins hadn’t scored more than three goals with the advantage since the 2005-06 season (3/14/06 at MIL, 4-for-12), when they accomplished the feat a total of six times.
AHL Player of the Week Nominee: Right wing Jeremy Williams earned the Griffins’ nomination for the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week award after lighting the lamp in all three games over the weekend. He tallied power play goals on Friday and Sunday against Abbotsford and earned First Star honors with a goal against his former Toronto teammates on Saturday. Williams, who is tied for the Griffins’ lead with four goals, is two games shy of tying his career-high five-game goal streak set February 14-22, 2009 as a member of the Marlies.
In Top Condition: Michael Nylander, who joined the Griffins on a conditioning stint from the Washington Capitals last week, registered five power play assists in three games over the weekend and now ranks fourth in the AHL in that category.
Who Else is Hot?: Jakub Kindl (0-3—3) and Doug Janik (0-3—3) each registered assists in two of the last three games…Evan McGrath owns a team-high four-game point streak (1-3—4)…John Vigilante has goals in consecutive games…Kris Newbury had five points (2-3—5), including a pair of power play goals, during the weekend’s three games…Jamie Tardif has four points in the last two games (3-1—4).
104 and Counting: On Saturday, former Griffin Scott Parse made his NHL debut with Los Angeles and earned an assist in the Kings’ 5-3 win at Phoenix, becoming the 104th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL. Recalled on Friday from the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs, he appeared in 10 regular season games with Grand Rapids in 2006-07, earning seven points (2-5—7) and six penalty minutes before netting one goal in seven playoff contests.
Twenty in Triple Digits: Evan McGrath’s assist on Saturday against Toronto marked his 100th point as a Griffin, making him the 20th player in franchise history to reach that milestone. The only other current Griffin among the team’s top 20 all-time scorers is Ryan Oulahen, whose 107 career points tie him with Donald MacLean for 16th.
Something New: Sunday’s win was the first for the Griffins this season that was not in come-from-behind fashion, and it marked just their second game this season – and their only win so far – in which they scored the first goal.
Jammin’ the Van: The Griffins welcomed their 14th consecutive home-opening sellout crowd (10,834) on Friday and currently rank second in the AHL in average attendance (7,404), behind Hershey (9,704).
History Repeating?: After going 1-3-1-0 out of the gate during what had been their worst-ever start in 2002-03, the Griffins immediately ripped off a franchise-record 16-game point streak (11-0-3-2 from Oct. 25 to Nov. 30, 2002) that propelled them to a 48-22-8-2 record, the Central Division title, the Western Conference’s top playoff seed and an eventual Game 7 loss in the Western Conference Finals, their deepest playoff run since joining the AHL in 2001. This season, the Griffins started 1-4-0-0 before launching their current three-game winning streak.
Milestones: Jamie Tardif notched his 100th point as a pro with an assist during Friday’s 4-3 shootout win over Toronto…Andy Delmore is five points away from 400 for his pro career…Patrick Rissmiller is just one goal shy of 100 as a pro…Jeremy Williams needs three more points for 200 in his pro career.
Thu., Oct. 29 vs. Houston Aeros (5-4-0-0) – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 30 vs. Houston Aeros – Van Andel Arena – 7 p.m.
Radio: WOOD 1300 AM at 6:35 p.m. each night. Web Casts: Video web cast at AHLLive.com, free audio available through griffinshockey.com. All-Time Series: 30-24-6-2-6 Overall, 17-10-2-1-3 Home. Season Series: First and second of six meetings overall, first and second of three in Grand Rapids. NHL Affiliation: Minnesota Wild. Head Coach: Kevin Constantine (3rd season). Notes: Of the four current AHL head coaches with NHL head coaching experience, Houston’s Kevin Constantine (378 NHL games) and the Griffins’ Curt Fraser (279) are the most tenured…Aeros rookie netminder Anton Khudobin boasts a 1.77 GAA and a 0.936 save percentage…Houston has connected on just four of 42 power play chances (9.5%) this season.